Headlamps - Sanding Process

If you have determined that your headlamps are suffering from a failed or failing clear coat or other contaminants, the only long-lasting solution to visibility issue is a sanding process.  Yes, we are aware of the wipe-on and spray-on products that provide TEMPORARY clarity, but you should realize that you are only covering up the issue if you don’t remove the source of the cloudiness. To have to remove this "coating"  (which will eventually also turn cloudy) as well as the original underlining coating issue can turn into a major undertaking that could have been avoided by sanding in the first place. 

While sanding does take more time than the basic application, it is the only proper way to restore a headlamp that has any type of coating on it.

There are several sanding kits available from local auto parts stores.  The one we prefer is the 3M Sanding Kit.  (just use the sanding disc(s) provided and  not the compound included in these kits)  If you use compound (which contain abrasives) on a newly sanded surface, you are introducing micro-swirl marks on the surface. These swirl marks will trap wax or other contaminants and will eventually turn the same yellow or cloudiness that you are attempting to fix.

  1. Mask off all painted areas around the headlamp. For better protection, apply a double layer of the masking tape.
  2. Polish the headlamp with Acrylic-Werks Polish  to remove any residual material and to provide a clean base for the sanding process.
  3. Follow the instructions on the sanding kit.  The first steps will consist of dry-sanding with 500 and then 800 grit sandpaper.  These two grits should remove all of the clear coat or other residue on the headlamp. 
  4. The last step in the sanding process is to wet sand with a 3000 grit paper.  This smooths out the lamp surface and prepares it for the application of the Acrylic-Werks Polish. 
  5. Apply the Acrylic-Werks Polish with the 3" foam applicator pad.  As a final step, we recommend folowing the general application instructions.  Because you have sanded off all of the coating causing the cloudiness, you should really not pull off anything in the application cloth.

For the complete steps in the sanding process for headlamps, please follow the steps as shown in the video on this page. 

If you have any questions about this process, please contact us.

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